The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were unlucky to score just three points at the Grand Prix of Valencia today, despite both riders showing a very impressive pace in the wet.
Valentino Rossi had a brilliant start from 16th place at the Valencia Grand Prix, gaining five positions in the first corner alone. Perfectly adapting to the truly wet conditions, he cut through the field and was already in seventh place just two laps into the race.
By overtaking his teammate and with several rivals crashing ahead of him, he found himself in third place just four laps later. The potential podium only made him more hungry for the lead. He pushed hard and closed an over 7s gap to the front in less than seven laps to challenge the front runners, but at the start of lap 14 the race was red flagged due to track conditions.
The Valencia GP resumed with a quick restart procedure at 15:00 local track time (GMT+1). The race would be run over 14 laps, with the starting grid based on the standings as of lap 13, putting the Doctor in third place on the grid.
The Italian had a strong start to the sprint. He firmly held his third position through the first corners, but just as he was about to commence his attack in the second half of the second lap, the rain came bucketing down again. Still, he put the pressure on Álex Rins and made his move on lap 7 to snatch second, and he kept pushing. However, he fell victim to the treacherous conditions three laps later, in Turn 12. Still, the Yamaha rider didn't give up. He ran back to his bike and rejoined in 13th position, which he held until the chequered flag came out.
Maverick Viñales started the race from pole and as such had the difficult task of judging where the limits were on the slippery track in the opening lap. Not taking too many risks, he entered the first corner in second place and had to let another contender pass as he got a feel for the conditions.
Though he put up a fight on the first lap, he lost some ground after that and was lapping in eighth place on lap 5, behind his teammate. Together they started to shoot up the ranking order, and the Spaniard got a taste for the hunt by lap 11, clocking his fastest lap of the race. However, just a few moments later his venture came to an early halt when he suffered a sudden high-speed crash. Thankfully he was unharmed, but he was unable to join the restart, as he crashed before the end of lap 12.
Today's results see Rossi hold on to third position in the championship standings. Viñales finished the 2018 season in fourth place. Yamaha came third in the Constructor Championship, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team is also third in the team standings.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action at the Valencian Ricardo Tormo circuit on Tuesday for the first Official IRTA test of the 2019 pre-season.